The Feast of First Fruits by David Cawston

The Feast of First Fruits
David Cawston
Leviticus 23:9-14

INTRODUCTION:
One of the divisions of systematic theology or major Bible doctrines is known as eschatology, or literally, the study of last things.
The entire study is devoted to last things in the Bible.
The Feast of First Fruits, on the other hand, is quite the opposite.
It's the subject of the study of first things, and it's one about which the Bible has much to say.
Somewhat of an obscure and almost unobserved feast for 2000 years, Israel's Feast of First Fruits was an ancient and holy day solemnly devoted to first things.
Let's look at some of the key factors.

I. THE BIBLICAL OBSERVANCE.
First Fruits marked the beginning of the cereal grain harvest in Israel. Barley was the first grain to ripen of those sown in the winter months.

For First Fruits, a sheaf of barley was harvested and brought into the temple as a thanksgiving offering to the Lord for the harvest.

It was representative of the barley harvest as a whole and served as a pledge or guarantee that the remainder of the harvest would be realized in the days that followed.

This feast was the third Jewish festive feast, and it happened on the 16th day of Nisan, two days after the beginning of Passover.

Scripture does not specifically calendar the date of First Fruits, but merely prescribes it as a time of observance to be on the day after the Sabbath.
Lev 23:11
11 He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath.
(NIV)

The Sadducees understood it to refer to the first weekly Sabbath – that Saturday which occurred during the week of Passover season.

So, therefore, the Sabbath in question was Nisan 15, the first day of Unleavened Bread.

That was to be "a holy convocation" in Leviticus 23:7, or a special Sabbath.

The chronology, then, as Passover, was Nisan 14, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which last ...


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